The Transformation of the Tight End Position at Georgia

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One of the many narratives that have surrounded the Georgia football program over the years is the lack of usage of the tight end position. After just two games though, it appears that the narrative is being put to rest. 

Current tight-end coach, Todd Hartley, joined the program in January of 2019. The hiring of Hartley also followed the end of former five-star tight end, Isaac Nauta's, career at Georgia in which he accumulated 68 receptions, 905 yards, and eight touchdowns during his three years at Georgia. Not exactly the most eye-opening stat line for as big of a name Nauta was coming out of high school. 

Nauta would then be selected in the 7th round of the NFL draft in 2019 and from that point on Hartley has made it an emphasis to change the way that tight ends at the University of Georgia were viewed and the type of athletes they recruited at the position. 

Fast forward to the year 2020, Georgia lands the highly coveted tight end prospect, Darnell Washington, out of Nevada who stood at 6-7 260 pounds. Jump forward to the next recruiting class, Hartley and Georgia land the No. 1 ranked tight end prospect in the class according to SI, Brock Bowers out of Napa, California. 

It is one thing to recruit talented prospects at the position, but it is another to develop those players into valuable assets for the team and put them to good use in games, especially early on in their careers. The transformation of the position became very evident late into the 2020 season when Washington began to play a very pivotal role in Georgia's offense and looked the part of a dominant offensive threat for Georgia. 

Now in the 2021 season, Georgia fans have gotten a wide-open look at what Brock Bowers brings to the table as Darnell Washington continues to deal with a foot injury. The true freshman was raved about during summer and fall camp and those reports have been brought to fruition after his performances in the first two games. 

Not only was the first pass of the regular season thrown to Bowers but he also led the team in receptions and receiving yards against the Clemson Tigers, who have one of the best defenses in the country. Bowers then followed that performance by once again leading the team in receptions and receiving yards including an 89-yard touchdown catch in which he showcased his breathtaking speed at the position by burning UAB's secondary down the sideline. 

It is now no longer a question of how talented Georgia is at the tight end position, it is now a fact that they have multiple threats playing tight end and that number will continue to grow. Georgia currently has a verbal commitment from 2023 prospect, Pearce Spurlin, who has serious potential to become an SI All-American. Coach Hartley and Georgia are also currently in a battle for 2022 prospect and Georgia native, Oscar Delp, and stand in a good position to get Delp to join the 2022 class. 

Want to know a great way to grab the attention of high school tight-end prospects across the country? 

Have your true freshman lead the team in both receptions and receiving yards after two games in the season. Todd Hartley came to Georgia to help change the narrative surrounding the position and boy has he delivered.

Thanks to Coach Hartley, tight ends are no longer a second thought at the University of Georgia. 

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